Kanak Klein-Omsatallow, An Intergalactic Educator

My biggest mistake? That’s easy. It was an artificial planet build in an earth-type orbit off of Lambda Ceti for harvesting space-time waves. After the space-time waves fluctuation ended the economy went bust and the native population went feral. A few generations later they rediscovered some of the rudiments of civilization, realized their planet was artificial, located the distress beacon and sent out a call for help.

I was a free lancer working for the Ceti-Perseus clusters department of education. They sent me a short file about the locals. It seemed they worshiped a being called Zophrastus King of Time — perhaps a corruption of the knowledge that long ago their great-great-grandparents had become rich base on the economy of space-time fluctuations, and that indeed their world had been constructed in order to make a killing based on this economy. I dressed as the emissary of Zophrastus, had a little cosmetic surgery to get his iconic helical earlobes and made descent with much Hollywood thunder and flashing lights.

“It is I Zophrastus! Come with a message for you.”

“What is it great one? We must know for we know well how we have gone astray. Perhaps it is too complicated for our simple minds.”

“No it is not.”

They waited. I ascended a mountain and spoke through a mega-maxi-micro-phone.

“Stop having sex with dogs! Dogs are not for sex! The dog is a companion animal. But do not turn to him for your love-making! It is wrong!”

Their religious, political, entertainment and business leaders prostrated themselves at my feet. Finally one approached me groveling “But oh Time King we want to! We really like having sex with dogs!”

“You can’t! It’s wrong!”

“But it provides emotional succor for us in the face of an often terrifying and lethal reality.”

“Tough and I’m sorry. You will have to make do some other way.” And to sweeten the blow I gave them certain technological advances they had forgotten –agriculture, fire, the John Deer plow, UHF television and the like.

I didn’t think about that system for a long time. I got involved in first teaching remedial education to a moon full of insane gods, and then later curriculum development for hive-minds that were trying to become democracies without succumbing to schizophrenia. Then looking through my email inbox I came across a report by an intergalactic social worker (Roton Tamspaquilify) that the artificial planet was doing none too well.

I made a quick visit on my way to the remedial god planet which was doing quite well making little handicrafts and such. I found the planet was occupied by only a few extremely old people. I told them that I was the being who had posed as their Time King long ago and wanted to know what had gone wrong.

“Oh Time king we followed your advice regarding sex with dogs and babies stopped coming. Now we are the pitiful remnants you see before you.”

“Hang on — what do you mean by dogs? Show me a picture of a dog.”

And they showed me pornographic magazines from the old days showing humans in the state of sexual arousal, male and female.

“Whoops” I said. “My bad. Before I started preaching to you I think we should have taken a moment to define our terms.”



Two scolds came into the city and began upbrading passers by.




SECOND SCOLD: Insensitive ones!


SECOND SCOLD: You are addicted to luxury and don’t care about your neighbor’s pain.

FIRST SCOLD: You pretend to be followers in the genteel tradition but you are simply cowards.


Later in a local gastro-pub, the two scolds share some reflections over beer and sandwiches.

FIRST SCOLD: Do you ever get off on scolding people?

SECOND SCOLD:Ever?  Try always!

FIRST SCOLD: No!  Really?


FIRST SCOLD: Go on.  Tell me!

SECOND SCOLD: The feeling I get when I interrogate somebody and make them realize that they are wrong turns me on.

FIRST SCOLD: Like…you get hard?

SECOND SCOLD: Hard as keeping your moral compass in a confusing world.


FIRST SCOLD: Do you scold yourself for doing that?

SECOND SCOLD: No.  Should I?

FIRST SCOLD: It’s not my place to say.


A Flatbush Ghost Story

That boarded up old house? The woman who lived there her baby died from choking on cookie monsters eye. And she was going to get like a two million dollar settlement. But during the deposition they got an expert to show she had removed the eye with pliers and choked the girl herself. And then she tried to cut herself to get sympathy and she miscalculated and bled out. Turns out she was pregnant and the paramedics came over to save the fetus and they got in a crash and were stuck in the ambulance for like an hour till they died. They couldn’t sell the house cause people said it was haunted.
By what Charles? The woman? The child? The emts? The fetus? Cookie Monster?

Or hope? Something dead, Georgie. For Christs sake, what does it matter?


The Words of the Prophet

To what can the soul be compared?
Truly I say to you the soul can be compared to an old television set that is left in the street. While you are waiting for somebody to come and take it away the rain falls on it and the sleet does damage to it.

They asked him, to what can your teachings be compared.

My teachings, dear ones, can be compared to an advertisement for a new television set that one receives in the mail. The new television set is better than the old one. It is ordinarily expensive. But right now it is on sale.

They asked him to what can heaven be compared.
Heaven is not in the sky or the birds would be there before you Heaven is not in the heart or the trichinosis worm would be there before you. Heaven is a program that you can receive on the new television set that you buy.

They asked him to what sin could be compared.
He said truly sin is like an appointment with the cable company to hook up your new television set.

They said they did not get that one.

He said sorry it is not as much like the appointment with the cable company but it is like being on hold with the cable company and waiting, desiring much but receiving little.

They said that was a little bit clearer but still pretty hard to follow.
He said he got that.

They asked why all his teachings compared everything to getting a new television set. Truly it is a dark saying they said.

Yeah, he said. It’s kind of been on my mind lately. Tomorrow shall be a better day for my teaching unto you. Today I should probably take a break.

And caught between their old and new selves like a spider launching into empty air but as yet without a web or flies they took their leave.


Dialogue Between Ayn Rand and Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The best thing is for the strong to do what they want. The worst thing is when the weak hold back the strong through their lily-livered morality!

How come, Ayn?

How come? I’ll tell you how come. Everybody should be egoistic! Cause it is the well-spring of creativity.

Hang on. If the weak are able to hold back the strong shouldn’t they?

No they shouldn’t.


Cause it will mess everything up and make life less creative.

So what? If you want everybody to be selfish then that’s how the weak can achieve their selfish goals.

Hmm. I hadn’t thought of that.

In fact maybe if the weak are able to impose their altruistic morality then the weak are actually…the strong.

Let’s make love.

We can kiss.


The Gospel of Thomas: (77) Jesus said, “It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.”

There are leap philosophies and there are path philosophies. Jesus in the “Gospel of Thomas” says if you don’t completely understand him so much so that you spread light everywhere you don’t understand him at all.


Richard Says “Sexual Love is a Far Inferior Thing to Friendship”

Richard says sexual love is about need while friendship is a relationship freely chosen.

Richard says sexual love often ends in disappointment and betrayal, while friendship deepens throughout life.

Richard says at its best sexual love matures into friendship while at its worst it is an entirely selfish transaction.

Richard’s most fulfilling sexual relationship was with a picture of a naked woman in a cowboy hat he found on google and his most intense friendship was with an imaginary French count named Eustace St. John who comforted him as a child when his parents were fighting.

Richard is a lonely character, but some of his reflections, perhaps, are not entirely without merit.


The Self-Criticisms of Nick Candy

Nick Candy was a successful attorney in Connecticut who married, raised two daughters (one journalist and one hand surgeon), divorced, remarried and died in his early 70s of a metastasized bowel cancer. After his death his daughters found a number of files on his desktop in a folder labelled self-criticism. They give some insight into Candy himself, and perhaps, into the question of the difference between what a man is to himself and what he is to those who know him.

I try too hard to please people. I should be me first, then see if people like that. Hard!

I say I want to know myself, but do I? Anytime I pretend to be trying to understand myself I always rush through the issue quickly.

I am addicted to sugar. When I try to get off sugar I know deep down that I am looking forward to relapsing.

I need to be more self-critical. Not just because it is expected of me, because it is a good thing.

I tried to make a list of lies I tell myself. “I try as hard as I can to be a good father.” “I truly care about my job.” “I really want to watch less t.v.” I couldn’t stop. I realized something. All I tell to myself, to my co-workers, to my loved ones are lies. I don’t even remember what it feels like to tell the truth anymore.

I am simultaneously too self-obssessed and not self-obssessed enough. I think about myself a lot or I tell myself I do. But how do I know what I’m thinking about is the real me. I think it isn’t. I think the me I’m obsessed with is a fake to trick me while the real me sneaks out the door.

I love to look at puddles.

I have the best eyes of anybody at my job. When I look in the mirror my eyes look like the eyes of a human being, while the eyes of the people I work with seem to me like those of brutal animals.

I am grateful for the feeling of water on my hands in the morning.

I wish my emotions were was good as the ones people have in movies.

Deep down I am in love with my bones.

I don’t know if what I feel is love.

When I was a little kid I used to imagine running away to the meadows of Zoth. It was a big mistake that I didn’t. I wonder if I still can.


The Travellers and the Oracle

Two travelers in a forest came upon an oracle famous for granting wishes but always in an ironic fashion. So for example one famous traveller had wished to be free of disease and had forthwith been brained by an avalanche, another, even more foolishly had asked for a memorable life and had been torn apart by four elephants, and so on.

“Let’s ask for something bad” said one of the travelers “That way that oracle will ironically give us something good.”

“You think that oracle’s as dumb as that?” said the other traveller. “I say we shut up and keep walking.”

MORAL: The second traveller was right!


The Chicken and the Chicken of the Sea

The Chicken was offended by the slogan on the can of tuna and went to complain to the fish.

“How unjust it is that my name should be taken by your legless self, who knows nothing of the noble pleasures of worm-eating and fether-fluffing, and is instead content with pursuing an ignominious existence of swimming through water not unmixed with your own urine.”

“I agree the nomenclature is unjust but for a different reason. I believe you should be yclept the Tuna of the Land.”

The fish’s comment goaded the chicken to fury who tried, vainly to rend the tuna with his claws, but was prevented by his fear of water. Soon the ruckus attracted the Man who said “Ho ho my aquatic and terrestrial gentlemen! Let me take you to a place where disputes about Names do not matter for all is one!

The Tuna and Tuna of the Land were eager to experience this post-linguistic oneness and eagerly ran into the hands of the human who decapitated them, chopped up their flesh with mayo, and served them side-by-side at a buffet as “tuna salad sandwich” and “chicken salad sandwich”.

“We’re learning how similar we are under the skin” said the sandwiches.

“Bah.” said a bowl full of lettuce dressed with vinegar and oil.” “The name you share now is a false one as you two posers are not even salad”.

“Just wait” said the chicken-salad sandwich. “I trust the Man. He will give us our true name!”

And eight hours later the chicken and tuna became both indistinguishable and one, earning a new name now: the Log of the Lake.